By: Joe Cardoso
No one ever got to the moutntain top by being lazy, and a true dream chaser will crawl, climb, and run to get their. Itâ€™s all about reaching the goal that has been set. One sport that will never forgive shortcuts is golf, how many of usÂ struggle each time but are always down for more â€śfunâ€ť? Â Our latest dream chaser is laser focused and ready to reach her goal of being a member of the LPGA. Coming to us from Arizona get to know Kelsey Ayers!
JC: Letâ€™s start from the beginning how were you introduced to golf?
KA: I was 15 years old when my dad introduced me to the game of golf. He bought me some used clubs and took me to the golf course and after that I was addicted! After my first couple range sessions and hitting the golf course a few times, I realized I was driven to learn the sport unlike any before. Â I wanted to become great at it! I went home and begged my parents for golf lessons and thatâ€™s how all golf opportunities began to come into play!
JC: At what point did you decide this is no longer a hobby, but something you wanted to do professionally?
KA: The point I realized this was not a hobby. I won my first tournament and received numerous scholarship opportunities after high school. From my experiences I developed a deep passion for the game that filtered into other aspects of my life to always strive for the best
JC: What type of training do you do to reach the goal of LPGA member?
Â KA: To reach LPGA status, it takes a regimen that involves HARDWORK and DEDICATION. First, I just want to say I have always kept myself surrounded by good people and awesome coaches during my journey. Paul Smith, Karen Ann Mancuso, Sara Anne McGetrick, Andy Lolmaugh and my current swing coach Paul Purtzer have been big time influencers and mentors. With out them constantly believing me and challenging myself to be better, I would not be in the position to achieve my goals. As with most success stories you have to stay healthy by eating right, working out, usually doing some form of cardio endurance. Whether I am running or hiking in the mountains around my house or walking eighteen holes, instead of driving a cart will also contribute to oneâ€™s success on the course.
JC: What type of response have you received from family and friends?
KA: My family, coaches, and friends have always been very supportive. My dreams of playing golf on the LPGA has always included them supporting my views, and investing their time and most importantly, believing that I WILL make it and be successful on the LPGA!
My Friends and coaches see my vision of what I want to accomplish and they are all helpful and supportive as well! So you can say, I have a great support system of people who truly believe that I will succeed!
JC: With so many aspects to the game what would you say you like most?
JC: There are many aspects of the game, and they all very important and overlay in someway shape or form! But I think my favorite aspect of the game would be mental toughness. Working on the mental aspect of the game by practicing yoga to not only strengthen my body but also strengthen my mind, has offered the best of both worlds. I usually practice at home or at a couple of my favorite yoga studios such as Ignite Yoga, and Yoga Pura. A lot of people do not realize how powerful the mind is, and how it directly correlates with your golf game.
JC: A lot of people donâ€™t realize itâ€™s not just showing up to the range and hitting balls. What sort of workout routine and diet do you follow?
KA: Right, a lot of people tend to not know. But to answer your question for my workout routine I am pretty active and like to switch things up when it comes to my workout routines. You can find me at the gym working out or in a pilaties class, yoga session, or running or hiking around the numerous mountains we have in Arizona. I also have a swing coach, Paul Purtzer who I meet with 1-2 times per week to improve my game. I feel having a swing coach is very important if you want to take your game to the next level. Then I am either on the golf course or at the range working on full swing, short game, and putting! Â As for dieting I try being healthy by eating mostly organic foods and following a meal plan customized for me. I also have my daily protein shakes, but occasionally one of my favorite go-to Chick-Fil-A, pops up in my diet!
JC: WHEN you make it to the LPGA what will it mean to you?
KA: WHEN I make it to the LPGA that would mean the world to me. I want to continue to show my siblings that when you have a goal and you really want it you can achieve it! Once I make it, I want to be able to give back to all the amazing people who have been there for me the entire way! I will continue to use my platform to be a role model for not only young girls, but in particular young Black/African American girls. This has been a goal of mine over the years of me playing competitively; you start to see that in the game of golf the presence of Black/African Americans isnâ€™t really there. Saying that, it would be my goal to not only continuing to work my butt off when I get on the LPGA and be in contention and win tournaments, but I would LOVE to see more minorities playing the wonderful game of golf and being successful at the college level and on the LPGA tour!
JC: Who are some of the people who inspire you on the course and off it?
KA: Â I have so many people whom inspire me on and off the course.Â My parents inspire me by always believing in me and supporting me with anything that I decide to do. I have had numerous coaches, swing coaches whom have taught me so much about the game and helped inspire the golf player I am today.
JC: For us who have never been, why are the BEST golf courses located in Arizona?
KA: That is a great question! I think the reason as to why the BEST courses are in Arizona is because we are one of the only lucky states that have access to thousands of golf courses all year round! Plus, the views are always beautiful, and who would not want to be in Arizona golfing!
JC: What goals do you have moving forward in 2018 and beyond?
KA: I know 2018 is going to be an exciting year for me!Â I will be playing on the Cactus Tour, I plan to travel to play in a few Womenâ€™s Opens over the summer. My goal is to finish gearing up for LPGA Q-school this fall. I truly have an amazing support system I am very thankful for. I also have an LPGA/PGA experienced swing coach Paul Purtzer, whom understands my vision on what I want to accomplish. There is absolutely NO DOUBT that I know I can do great things this year.Â If you are interested in following my journey on my road to the LPGA you can follow me on my Instagram and stay tuned! (@kelseynuuuu)
JC: What is sweeter crushing a drive off the tee or hitting a clutch putt?
KA: Hitting a clutch putt! When you drop those clutch putts in those â€śunder pressureâ€ť times. It is the best feeling EVER. Plus I am a firm believer of this popular golf motto I am sure you have herd of, â€śYou drive for show, and Putt for dough!!!â€ť
JC: Favorite Question Dream Foursome: Besides you who is playing and what course are you guys playing?
KA: Â My dream foursome would be Tiger Woods, Feherty, and Inbee Park at the Augusta National golf course. It would be totally AWESOME!
JC: What does Kelsey do for fun?
KA: What I do for fun besides golf would be, I LOVE shopping, going to the gun range, hiking, archery, and amusement parks.
JC: ASU is known as one of the top party schools for YEARS are the rumors true?
KA: I think everybody has his or her different opinion on that assumption, so I am going to say come to ASU and find out.
No doubts that with her passion for the game and drive itâ€™s only a matter of time until we see her on the LPGA tour. I canâ€™t thank Kelsey enough for her time and talking with me. Part of the fun and getting to the top is the process and you can follow along with Kelsey journey through her social media accounts.
We always love to share stories of people grinding towards a dream and inspiring along the way, if that’s you give us a shout. Whatever it is that you have a passion for donâ€™t quit and surround yourself with positive people.